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“Well, we've done it. Groovy, but no encore.”
Review of Club Med Yabuli

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Club Med Yabuli
Ranked #1 of 39 Hotels in Shangzhi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 April 2014

We spent 7 days in Yabuli over Christmas and it was a mixed bag in all respects.

The good (best) were the GO’s who were great. As all were far away from home at Christmas, they were very gracious and went out of their way to make us feel some sense of the season in a land where Christmas doesn’t mean very much at all.

The trip from Harbin was picturesque in an Arctic sort of way although the way back was delayed by about an hour as a government official was travelling on the road and didn't want to share it. Hundreds of cars waiting at a toll gate until told to go by the officials.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable and whilst lacking in character are well laid out. The whole complex is a bit of a labyrinth to negotiate with different floors and buildings for everything. The main restaurant is large enough but has a food hall feel about it with a bit of sameness in menu after a few days of 3 times a day. The other restaurants although inviting are without any character at all. The food itself is good, but as said, is a bit repetitious after the third day. Given the location and numbers, that is always going to be the case. Eating in the end fulfilled a purpose and was hardly a culinary celebration.

The extreme coldness of the area works to the disadvantage of skiing and snowboarding. For most days it was colder than -25 degrees at the top of the mountain peaking at -40 on a couple of days. Any new snow is swept way and the slopes are hills covered with ice. On a snowboard it is enough work just to stay on edge, the runs were that icy. The only powder you’ll get is in your bathroom. That being said, it is rarely crowded. Another point is bringing your own hardware. The rental skis are really not up to scratch although rentals are inexpensive. At the very least take your own clothing. The quality of the rental clothing looks abysmal. It should be noted that clothing and hardware rentals are entirely out of the resorts hands. The instructors look almost embarrassed when this is pointed out. They offer quality instruction given language barriers and have to make excuses for equipment.

For the fact of ticking off “went skiing in Manchuria” it is well worth it. If however you are seeking an alternative annual Ski-Fest, go elsewhere. The Club Med experience is excellent and given the isolation of the place is replicated well. For us, a 13 hour flight may be better served by going to Japan in future. It is a case of “done it, don’t need to do it again”.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank PaulsyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2014

We visited Club Med Yabuli for a 7 day ski vacation just 2 weeks ago and as previous Club Med guests were quite disappointed with the overall standard here.

Bus transfer from Harbin (3.5 hours) - The bus was uncomfortable, at least 5 years past it's best, not at all up to the our expected standard and not anywhere near previous club med transfer standards. The driver and his assistant spoke no English, made no attempt to communicate comfort stop times and kept putting the bus gears in neutral to roll down hills, presumably to save fuel, a dangerous practice, particularly on Icy roads. Luckily the bus did not seem capable of exceeding 90 kph - perhaps an inadvertent safety feature.

Ski Equipment hire - The staff spoke not a word of English and I mean not a single word. They were utterly inept in binding adjustment, a critical ski safety factor. Luckily for us, the very competent (esf) ski manager Greg, intervened and properly adjusted our bindings, showing the shop staff how to do it on the spot - They didn't know !!!!

Ski equipment particularly boots are heavily worn and well overdue for replacement. We discovered several days into our stay that there is a premium range of hire equipment but this was not mentioned or offered to us on our arrival.

Rooms - our room was spacious, with a very comfortable bed, a pleasant outlook, very nice marble bathroom with full sized bath and heated floors, accurate air cond and an opening window for fresh air.

Entertainment - Some really good evening shows, others just Ok. A very good saxophonist accompanying a great female singer in the main bar every afternoon and evening.

Restaurant - No meet, greet and seat as in other club med resorts - a nice touch missing. The food service staff speak no English, look completely disinterested, make no effort to engaged with guests and can barely raise a smile. Apart from this, overall the restaurant was ok, providing a wide variety of food and all of good quality but quite repetitive in selection variety.

General Maintenance - The resort just feels like it needs a good clean. There is a musty unpleasant odour that wafts about the place most of the time. In particular, the pool/steam room/sauna area; you just don't want to be in it the odour is so unpleasant. The showers in this area don't produce hot water unless several are turned on at once. I was told by the attendant that I would have to turn on all the showers at once to obtain hot water in one of them. Carpets in public areas are badly stained in places as is some seating in bars and restaurants.

Housekeeping - Atrocious. Daily there was something that just wasn't right. No bath towels one day, then no toilet paper the next, then no hand towels, then no bottled water (The tap water is unsuitable for drinking), no shampoo etc etc. The floors were not vacuumed nor hard surfaces mopped at all during our stay. The housekeeping staff are just not up to standard nor is their supervision or quality control.

I don't envy the chef de village Vincent who, with the exception of a handful of outstanding support staff, just doesn't have the overall quality of trained personnel to deliver a four trident club med standard. International guests and previous Club Med Guests will inevitably make comparisons as we have done and find that Yabuli is nowhere near the advertised four trident standard and it is seriously misleading to rate it as such.

I frequently heard the remark that it is a new and developing ski industry in this region. Well, that may be so, but this resort has operated for several years and that as an excuse for poor service, maintenance and housekeeping standards just does not pass muster. Club Med have had ample opportunity to train or transfer the requisite staff across all it's service areas and have failed to do so.

What is happening here is that some really good people are saving the rest of them and saving Club Med from more serious embarrassment.

I don't know how long it's been since their last visit but I strongly suggest Club Med urgently have their Quality Assurance team attend this resort before more damage is done to what in my experience is an excellent international brand.

Finally some bouquets - Greg, the ski manager (esf) was brilliant, a thorough professional whom we can't thank enough for his assistance, patience and friendly engagement. His whole team is very good but only 2 spoke English when we were there making it very difficult for beginners. Todd, the Bar Manager, likewise who engaged with us frequently and with his team provided excellent service. Julian the bread baker must surely be one of Club med's best and Ario in food service was always looking for ways to go the extra mile. These wonderful staff are full of the club med spirit and culture but are sadly too few a number at this resort.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
11  Thank Graeme S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubMedAP, General Manager at Club Med Yabuli, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Dear Graeme56,

I would like to thank you for your feedback and taking the time to write this detailed review.

Like any other Club Med, the Club Med Yabuli team aims to offer premium service to our clients who visit us and this feedback is most useful to help plan where improvement is needed.

One of the main advantage of Club Med is that we have an international team of G.O’s (staff) who can assist in any department and I am glad you were able to sort out your ski equipment with the help of our Ski manager Greg. I will pass on the feedback to our ski equipment provider partner regarding the equipment maintenance but can however already confirm that Club Med updates its rental equipment beginning of each season in all Ski resorts. We will also aim at adding more information in English which will be useful in future following your comments.

I am glad to read that the room was spacious and comfortable. Our Yabuli Resort opened 3 years ago and is an exceptional place indeed.

I will review all of the other feedback with my management team here in Yabuli.

I am sorry that your overall experience with us did not meet your expectations during your holiday and I hope we will have the chance to welcome you again in Yabuli or another Resort in the near future.

Kind Regards,
General Manager – Club Med Yabuli

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I arrived at Yabuli with family (kids 10, 8 and 3), and the trip from Harbin was actually pretty fast like 2,5 hours. On arrival, we just made it on time for the lunch (hmmm.... it's passable I suppose) and then went to our rooms - we got connecting rooms on the fourth floor (but the numbers don't really correspond to the floors in a logical way I could figure out). Also, bulding 1 and buidling 2 are quite far away and it's quite convoluted to arrive at. Then it was trying to figure out the entire process of registering the ski lessons, the kids, the little one the big one. Wow, I thought I was going to a club med and everything would be taken care of, but it was like a real effort to figure it all out. I arrive at 1:30 pm and now at 8:36 pm, I have a huge headache and still not clear on what will happen tomorrow at all. No one will explain anything and you have to piece the clues and info together and figure it all out. I just know I have to wake up at 7 am, rush to breakfast and get one set of kids to this place and another and buy a bunch of things, they require, which was never told to me so I have to purchased them at 200% inflated prices here. Make sure you bring goggles and face masks (googles are 500 RMB here) and they rent it for 50RMB per day. All in all, the rentals costs 450 per day (kids), 500 RMB per day if you include the goggles. WoW, lots of things you need to get the information before you come here, but since it's even hard to get the information when you arrive here, I am sure not easy to get this information before you get here. All in all, quite a challenging and tiring experience for the first day to figure it all out, but for sure, the worst organized CM I have ever been to. But it's China, so what can you do? You just chuckle and hope you wont get food poisoning and everyone will make it safe. Oh, saw a French manager who was giving very good VIP service to some French speaking foreigners taking them to every single step of the way and complex procedures, so I guess if you are French and a foreigner you get better service here. Go figure.

Room Tip: If your room smells (we had two rooms), they can fumigate the room and let it air. Also close the v...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank M K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2014

I had an excellent skiing week in Club Med Yabuli in northeast China after Chinese New Year.
Here , I'd to highlight my skiing coach Tom, a nice coach from England, thanks to his nice and professional coaching, let me have such a wonderful skiing experience for 5 days in Club Med Yabuli.

For me, it is the first time skiing. Just start from beginner to learned some the basic skills on the first day. It seems easily to upgrade to the next level Club1 on the second day, but this level, a little bit hard for me, and Tom coached me from Club1, and also club3, he is professional, patient, and highly responsibility. He showed us the details skills over and over again, encouraged each person to practice more and improve our skiing. Till I can ski confidently from A1... For me It is a really existing and big achievement. Not only that, I also can ski from B5, it is really unbelievable for me, especially I just start my skiing 4 days ago, so crazy, but I did it. Thanks a lot my coach for all of these helpful coaching and encouragement.....all In all, love this coach guy.

Apart from the skiing activity, the Club Med Yabuli also provides some diversity activities, such as shows, dancing, bar, and so on, all of teams are funny, friendly.

Thanks Club Med Yabuli, thanks a lot Tom, suck a fantastic skiing holiday, looking forward to come back again next year.

Stayed: February 2014
2  Thank Eva W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I was afraid a lot as take 2 children(3-year-old girl + 11-year-old boy) with my wife to so cold corn, and 1st time to clubmed which heard here so many complains. But finially we all were more than happy to take that decison.

We stayed there 4 nights, arrived just before dinner. our draft daily schedule were:
1. Girl to petit club for 4 days(send around 9:30; pick up around 16:30)
2. Boy to ski Mini group for 3.5 days(ask him to check in around 9 by himself; and meet at forrest bar around 16:30 with his little sister; last afternoon, I took him to ski together.)
3. my wife/myself to ski group seperately. and family meet at forrest bar and have some hot drinks around 17:30. fast change dress code;
4. diner around 18:00, happy family hour;
5. join the 20:00 show or stay forrest bar to chat with new friends;
Enjoy points:
1. ski coach, special thanks to Barht and Tom; for Barht, who help my wife to try the A1 line after 3 days, and even help to back her down for the challenge slot.
2. Petit club G.O; Both of three/four young girls gain the girl's trust very quickly, show so many passion to play together, include daily outdoor game with snow, weekend show,daily games; my girl loved them a lot, crying to stay more days when we checke out.
3. family feeling all around, specially with G.O and similar families. we had so many good times during dinner time/ski time/forrest bar time.

Space to be better:
1. we had no chance to book other Restaurants(except the big Cafeteria) for all our food, as all booking need do it around 11 am when we were just skiing.
2. one room was too warm to sleep if not open the little window, ps,already close the air. but another room has no such issue.
3. better ski course arrangement for teenage, there were always big team(>10) with a big age mix(from 7-12, I guess).

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Dlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2014

I missed my flight and called Club Med immediately. They arranged another car to pick me up without additional charge, which I am really impressed. We had a connecting rooms. The rooms were modern and the beds comfortable. The curtain had a problem which was later fixed. One of the toilet was smelly. Housekeeping was not properly done until we complained on our third day. On our last day at 08:30 a housekeeper knocked on our door and asked us what time we will checked out. 10 mins later another housekeeper knocked on the door and asked the same question. We just want some sleep. The restaurant was the weakest link. Tables and chairs in the main buffet restaurant were often not clean. The beverage area was smelly. Food tray were often empty. We like the Forest Bar and it's a good place to hang out. There's a big gap between the standard of Sahoro Club Med and Yabuli, something the Management team can work on.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Lau_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2014

We spent about 5 days at Club Med Yabuli and the best thing there was definitely the people. The kind hospitality and friendly personalities of the G.O's made the trip that extra bit more enjoyable. I especially want to mention the circus team (Brandon, Nathon, Kelsey, Mylyn and Kevin) for their dedication to teaching and for putting on a great circus show. Also to Lorna, Kara, Todd, Narish, Elsa, and Jure, thanks for being awesome G.O's; Vincent for being an excellent Chef de Village; and to Tom for being an all round good sport and a great ski instructor. Thanks for making it an excellent holiday!

The accommodation and food were average, probably because Yabuli is so isolated. The ski runs were good, we got a fair amount of snow so it wasn't too icy until the end of the runs. The night entertainment was excellent, the shows that were put on and the way they were performed was highly enjoyable for everyone. Because we were there for Chinese New Year, they had extra special events which were really fun. The Star and Forrest Bars were a particular highlight (where can you go wrong with unlimited drinks) :P

I would definitely recommend Yabuli as a family holiday destination, even if it is a little out of the way, because of the friendly G.O's and their ability to make you feel right at home in a short period of time.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank CaitlinFuller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Med Yabuli

Address: Yabuli Ski Resort, Shangzhi 150631, China (Formerly 亚布力地中海度假村)
Phone Number:
Region: China > Heilongjiang > Shangzhi
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Shangzhi
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Shangzhi
#1 Luxury Hotel in Shangzhi
Price Range: £116 - £486 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Yabuli 4*
Number of rooms: 284
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Also Known As:
Club Med Yabuli Hotel Shangzhi
Club Med Yabuli China/Shangzhi

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